coronavirus

Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing Center Opening for First Responders in Fort Worth

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Health authorities are preparing for a possible pandemic as they work to contain a respiratory illness in China that's caused by a new virus. Governments are working to contain the virus by limiting travel, isolating sick people and keeping travelers returning from the affected region under quarantine to watch for symptoms.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

There's a new place for first responders in Tarrant County to be tested for the new coronavirus.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center opened the off-campus testing site to help keep first responders informed about their health status, a news release said. Those who know they tested negative will be able to return to their jobs more quickly, without having to wait the 14-day self-observation period.

First responders include police, fire, emergency medical technicians, paramedics and constables, the release stated, and is not open to the public.

"Our first responders are on the front lines of this health crisis, working tirelessly to protect all of us from this deadly pandemic, HSC President Michael R. Williams said. "This new testing site will help protect our first responders and keep those who are health out in the community providing their valuable services."

First responders who wish to be tested at the site operated by the medical school should contact the Fort Worth Emergency Operations Center to schedule an appointment.

First responders who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or who are at extremely high risk of transmission will be tested in other ways, the release said.

The location of the testing site was not revealed because it is not open to public appointments, a spokesman said.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three weeks to six weeks to recover.

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